If the GP is concerned, the child will be referred to be seen at a regional ophthalmology (eye) department. This referral should be urgent and the child should be seen within 1 to 7 days.
At the regional ophthalmology (eye) department your child may be seen by an ophthalmologist and in some cases a children's ophthalmologist (an ophthalmologist is a consultant eye doctor/surgeon). The ophthalmologist may do another Red Reflex Test for the child. They will use eye drops which increase the size of the pupil so they can have a really good look at the retinas at the back of the eyes.
Some ophthalmologists will choose to do an ultrasound to help them make a diagnosis. This involves a gel being put on the outside of the eyelid and then an ultrasound probe placed onto the eyelid. This allows the ophthalmologist to scan the eye.
The pressure in your child's eye may also be checked. This can be done in two ways, either a special puffer is used to puff air directly at the eye and the response can tell the ophthalmologist if there is increased pressure in the eye, alternatively yellow eye drops can be administered and then an instrument with a blue light is used to touch the front of the eye and the pressure is read using this tool.
In some cases the ophthalmologist may decide the child needs to be checked whilst under anaesthetic so that they can have a better look at the retina. This will have to be done on a day care ward but the appointment and procedure will be explained to you.
In addition to these tests you child may also have a test to see if glasses are required. This will be done by an optician.
After your child has been seen by the ophthalmologist and all the necessary tests have been done the ophthalmologist will discuss with you what they think is wrong. If your child has nothing wrong with their eyes and vision then they will be discharged.
If the ophthalmologist has identified an eye condition they will give you the diagnosis and explain what treatments are necessary. If the ophthalmologist suspects your child does have retinoblastoma they will make an urgent referral for them to be seen at one of the two retinoblastoma services in the UK, The Royal London Hospital or Birmingham Children's Hospital. An appointment will be made for your child to be seen within a week and the retinoblastoma service professionals will contact you before your appointment.
If your child is diagnosed with retinoblastoma there are a variety of different treatments that are available, each child is judged on an individual basis and the treatment will be tailored specifically to their needs. Your consultant will discuss this fully with you at diagnosis.
If you child has just been diagnosed with retinoblastoma, see further information which may be of use under our Parents section.
Spotted something unusual in a child's eye or photograph? Read about the signs of childhood eye cancer and what to do if you suspect a child has retinoblastoma.
Examine these images to see the different ways in which retinoblastoma can present itself.
Advice on who to turn to if you think you have noticed the signs or symptoms of retinoblastoma in a child’s eye(s).